A Few Sour Notes

Looks as if the last note on the new iTunes update weren’t entirely complete as BoingBoing (via the EFF) have noted that Apple have now disabled the burn-and-re-rip method for stripping DRM from tracks.  I’ve not yet investigated this myself, but it seems rather odd that they would have done this.  All said however, the new “Plus” tracks are playable on ANYTHING else that will play an AAC encoded track (see previous post on playing with Amarok), so, if you can still burn, you can rip with something else and play those tracks on your iPod or Squeezebox or whatever.  This isn’t the same non-issue as the embedded tracks, it seems, on the surface, to be patently stupid and strange for Apple to make this change at this point.  Again, all said, there are routes around this, and I’m sure the scripts and tools out there that have been written to automate the process of extracting tracks from their DRM prisons will be released with updated versions that use other encoders rather than iTunes if, indeed, that is the rate limiting step (that iTunes somehow recognizes that a track has been burned and is being re-ripped?).  Since a previous EFF report noted that converted-to-uncompressed tracks are identical regardless of purchaser, this must be limited to some sort of in-database recognition that a purchased track of the same name exists or some signature in the burn unique to an iTunes burn (which wouldn’t travel back through a ripped track if ripped through another app).  Bottom line here is that, while not a non-issue, this is really only a minor issue, with plenty of routes around that might not be as simple as before, but they are nearly so.I still have to ask, though, Apple: why did you bother with this stupid limitation?  It sounds like a waste of time and effor that people will just whine about, and prevent people from doing what was previously possible.

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